Have House of the Dragon end an episode with a big twist. Episode 7 set much in motion for the future of Dance of Dragons, making it a turning point in the series. Mourning the loss of Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), the entire family gathers in Driftmark to attend her funeral. Viserys (Paddy Considine) is present along with Alicent (Olivia Cooke), as is the new Lord Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) and the new Hand of the King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans).
Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) arrived with Laenor (John Macmillan) and her two eldest children, and the Velaryons greeted them, including Rheanys (Eve Best) and Corlys (Steve Toussaint). Daemon (Matt Smith) returned from Pentos with the body of Laena and her two daughters. For some, this marks the first time they have been back together in a decade, and tension and emotions run high. The episode focuses primarily on Rhaenyra’s reunion with her uncle Daemon, the legitimacy of her children, and the Black versus Green lineup.
We see Rhaenyra and Daemon finally getting together after years apart, and she will eventually take him to be her husband at the end of the episode. But first, they must deal with the only thing standing in their way: their husband.
Does Laenor Die?
In order to marry Rhaenyra, Laenor must disappear from the scene, but does that mean she dies? For many fans of George R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, Laenor’s death has long been in the star. During his conversation with Rhaenyra, he confesses that he wasn’t the perfect father to their children and promises to be a better father and husband in the future. The conversation also reveals that the two tried to have children together, but none came.
Because Rhaenyra was aware of her sexuality before marriage, the two came to an agreement and would find sexual satisfaction elsewhere. Unfortunately, this meant that Rhaenyra’s children were actually Ser Harwin’s (Ryan Corr) and not Laenor’s. Despite that kind of freedom, we know from Episode 6 that the last decade hasn’t been ideal for Laenor.
Though he caved in, he didn’t have the freedom to be openly himself. We see in this episode that Alicent makes a sarcastic comment about a Laenor’s sexuality is open and we know that homosexuality is heavily stigmatized in Westeros. He openly tells Rhaenyra that he sometimes hates the gods for making him the way he is, but she assures him she doesn’t, and he is a good man with honor. This is clearly not a man you want dead, so Laenor doesn’t die.
How Does Laenor Survive?
Until the very last scene, it is not revealed that Laenor not only survived the attack of Qarl (Arty Froushan), but sails with him, now with her head shaved to hide her Valyrian heritage. But how did they get there? As Rhaenyra and Daemon talk, she tells her that she loves Laenor, and Daemon urges her to show her kindness and free him. What at first sounds like cruel kindness is actually reality. It is clear that this is the moment he and Rhaenyra formulate a plan to counterfeit
Laenor’s death. We then see Daemon approach Ser Qarl and pay him gold, telling him “There are places across the straits where it doesn’t matter what a man’s name is, only how much gold he has”, and asks for a quick kill with witnesses. As someone who has spent some time in Pentos, he knows that there is not that much prejudice about sexuality there. It’s a place Laenor can escape to without the pressure of being a royal consort or the pressure of hiding who he really is. But in the first look, it looks like Daemon is acting on behalf of himself and Rhaenyra and is hiring Qarl to kill Laenor.
But knowing that Laenor is not dying, things begin to fall into place. Knowing that Qarl loves Laenor means he can trust the plan, and we can tell their dialogue before their fight is a little off when Qarl says, “You’ve always looked down on me,” and the audience doesn’t Evidence seen that. . Daemon kills a minion, and after Qarl and Laenor start their rowdy fight with each other, the minion runs around the room for help, and they have enough time to put Laenor’s boots on the man Daemon killed. As the Velaryons rush into the hall, all they see is a burned corpse in the fireplace wearing Laenor’s boots.
Why Did Rhaenyra and Daemon Plan His Death?
Laenor’s fake death works on two fronts. First, she grants Laenor her freedom, and second, she strikes fear into Rhaenyra’s enemies. Daemon tells Rhaenyra that a king who is not feared has no power. The two want to spread rumors that they killed Laenor. They know the truth, but their enemies will assume the worst and wonder what else they are capable of.
This comes after the argument with the kids that ended with Aemond’s (Leo Ashton) eye being cut out by Lucerys (Harvey Salder). With the question of legitimacy hanging over their heads. a stronger bond and that the two might be better armed against infidels and usurpers. With Daemon at her side as Prince Consort, Rhaenyra believes her claim cannot be easily challenged. She will protect her position as the heiress and also their children.
How Does This Deviate From the Books
The reason this moment is so shocking is that it deviates from the book. In Fire & Blood, Laenor is killed by Ser Qarl at a Spicetown carnival. Witnesses see the two arguing before fighting with their swords as in the episode, although Laenor’s actual death also appears to have been witnessed. Some believe that Laenor found a new lover and Qarl was jealous, while others believe that Qarl killed Laenor on Daemon’s behalf since Daemon did not marry Rhaenyra for long. After this.While
In the history books, Laenor is clearly dead, Episode 7 shows us how easily history can be rigged by rumor and uncertainty. assured that Laenor would not end up dead but freed. House of the Dragon premieres weekly with new episodes every Sunday on HBO and HBO Max.